A weekend to remember
The sun shone as members old and new gathered at Heythrop Park Hotel in Oxford for the 19th pulmonary hypertension patient conference organised by PHA UK.
From Friday 12th to Sunday 14th May, patients and their families enjoyed educational talks, entertainment and the chance to make new friends and share experiences.
PHA UK Chair Iain Armstrong opened the expert talks on Saturday morning, introducing a series of presentations by PH professionals from across the country.
Professor Paul Corris linked his love of Newcastle United with a detailed overview of PH, the tests, the treatments and the goals, and Neil Hamilton continued the football theme by sharing his thoughts around PH drugs based on a first team formation.
Dr Luke Howard, speaking for the first time at the conference, discussed the development of new technologies and the impact of exercise intervention.
Shaun Clayton, membership services director, also made his conference stage debut, with an insight into the welfare system. Offering practical tips and benefits advice, he ended by assuring patients that although they may have to fight for what they deserve, it’s important not to give up.
Professor Janelle Yorke led an interactive discussion about managing breathlessness, and an expert panel debated questions posed by patients ahead of the conference.
After a relaxed buffet lunch, afternoon break-out sessions included Thai Chi, flower arranging, homeopathy and physical rehabilitation.
A workshop with Anxiety UK offered advice on managing the emotional impact of PH, and clinical nurse specialist Wendy Gin-Sing led a session on supporting loved ones during their PH journey.
Children’s activities included creative crafts, crazy golf, magic and balloon modelling, treasure hunts and a sing-a-long show.
The day ended with a pirate-themed gala dinner and disco and as well as a packed conference programme, families were able to enjoy the extensive grounds and top class leisure facilities offered by the hotel.
The conference talks are available to view on YouTube; simply click here
SOUNDBITES FROM THE STAGE…
“You might be breathless but you’re not voiceless; and many of you have proved that time and time again.” – Iain Armstrong
“We’re providing a lot of food for thought for the international community in terms of treatment for PAH” – Dr Luke Howard
“Breathlessness can be distressing and frustrating, but there are techniques and exercises that can help” – Professor Janelle Yorke
“You’re going to have to fight for what you deserve when it comes to benefits” – Shaun Clayton
“There’s been a huge change in the way we look at exercise in people with PH” – Professor Paul Corris
“There are frustrations, but we are fighting your corner the best we can, at a high level.” – Neil Hamilton